Two graduating Stanford students have invented an eyewear accessory to address a common problem experienced by builders and artists the world over. Atticus Anderson and Blake Crowe have utilized their knowledge of mechanical engineering and product design to create the Grip Clip, “piece of soft plastic that can slide onto your glasses and hold a pencil, pen, or other similarly sized object.”
If you’ve ever built something by hand, you know how important a simple tool like a pencil can be. When you need to take down a note or draw a mark on the material you’re working with, it’s nice to have your pencil within arm’s reach. The Grip Clip can conveniently secure pens, pencils, Stylus pens, laser pointers, and more right onto your glasses or protective eyewear.
Right now, the Grip Clip is still in the prototype stage, which is why the two designers have taken their project to Kickstarter. They are hoping to raise $6,000 to purchase a machined mold in order to produce the Grip Clips at a high volume. As of the time of this post, the project already has over $4,000 with 22 days to go, so the two inventors are almost there.
If you want to help bring the Grip Clip to the masses, click here.
Over the course of four years and more than 240 hours of footage, British filmmaker, Ian McDonald has put together the first feature length documentary on Blind Chess, titled Algorithms.
The film documents the little know world of Blind Chess in India, following a group of talented young chess players from different parts of India through competitive tournaments, exploring their lives and what the game means to them. One player in particular, Charudatta Jadhav, is a pioneer in Blind Chess, as he hopes to situate India in the top five countries for competitive Blind Chess.
The film premiered at the International Film Festival of India in 2012, but, in order to format the film for big-screen projectors and further distribute it to festivals around the world, the filmmakers have turned to Kickstarter for help. They are hoping to raise £10,000, and, as of the time of this post, they have already received £2,970 with 24 days to go in their campaign.
If you want to help this film succeed, click here, or visit the film’s official website to learn more about it.
As mobile devices and the apps that go with them become more and more sophisticated, smartphones and tablets have quickly been adopted as valuable tools for the blind. We’ve written before about apps for the visually impaired, but here are a couple more recent ones you may not have heard of yet:
AccessNote, launched in late January by the American Foundation for the Blind, is the first note taking app engineered for people with vision loss, designed to serve as a “low cost alternative to traditional note takers.” Where blind students and professionals previously had to bring their note taker to classes or meetings, AccessNote allows them to easily take notes with just their iOS device.
Traditional note takers can cost hundreds of dollars, while AccessNote is available in the App Store for $19.99, complete with search features, cursor tracking, and other handy tools.
An app developer called the Sendero Group is also trying its hand at an assistance app for the blind with a People Finder app. While still in the prototype stage, the app aims to help the visually impaired find people around them through sound and vibration.
If a visually impaired person wants to find a friend in a crowded place, the app uses Bluetooth technology to find that friend (both parties need to have the app installed). When the two friends are within 50 feet of each other, the app lets users know if they are “near” or “cold.” The Sendero Group is currently testing the app and seeking further funding, but this is definitely something to look out for in the future.
In one of the latest TED Talks to be released online, Lee Cronin, a professor of chemistry, nanoscience, and chemical complexity at the University of Glasgow, discusses his prototype of a 3D printer for molecules and the potential it may hold.
He poses the question, “Can we ‘app’ chemistry?” In essence, Cronin wants to change the way we discover and distribute prescription drugs by creating an “Embedded Chemical-Biological Network,” where 3D printers would create new drugs using a universal set of chemical “inks.” This would allow users to create their own personalized medicine tailored to the molecules in their body.
Cronin suggests that one day, we might all have a 3D printer at home, allowing us to bypass the pharmacist and print our own medicine. How this would be regulated by the FDA is a whole other conversation…
You may not have heard, but there’s a pretty big football game coming up this Sunday. The American tradition that is the Superbowl, however, is much more than just football—it’s about spending time with friends and family, offering your opinion on the commercials and halftime show, and, maybe most importantly, the food.
Superbowl Sunday is usually a time when healthy eating takes a back seat for most Americans, but there are a few eye-healthy recipes that fit right in with your typical game day fare. We’re not asking you to forego the nachos and hot wings, but there are a few items you can bring to the table that you and your couch mates can feel good about eating. No one wants to be the guy or girl who shows up to the Superbowl party with kale chips and granola bars, but with these recipes, your friends might not even know they’re eating healthy.
Both spinach and avocados are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes and fight against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Here’s how you make a delicious spinach guacamole:
- 1 ½ cups of fresh baby spinach leaves
- ½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- Tabasco hot sauce to taste
Toss the avocados, spinach leaves, cilantro, jalapeños, salt, and lime juice in a food processor until roughly blended. Place the mixture in a bowl and stir in the diced onions and tomatoes. Add hot sauce to taste. (Our own take on a recipe from The Chubby Cook)
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. They’re packed full of antioxidants, fiber, as well as beta carotene and vitamin A, to help maintain healthy vision and fight against AMD.
- 3 large sweet potatoes cut into wedges
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt or seasoned salt
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until the sweet potatoes are thoroughly seasoned and coated in oil. Place potatoes on a baking sheet on a single layer for 30 minutes, or until done. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or try them with our eye-healthy spinach guacamole. (via http://vegetarian.about.com)
Joshua Goldenberg of Simi Valley, California was born blind with a rare condition called Bilateral Microphthalmia. Despite his visual impairment, Joshua has become an independent, inquisitive 8-year-old. He’s accomplished a lot for such a young age–he’s been on TV more than once, he’s met the Dallas Cowboys, and, most importantly, he’s doing big things to help empower others like him.
In 2011, while grocery shopping with his mother, Christie, he asked her a question that she didn’t quite know how to answer—“Why isn’t there Braille on the shelves so I can go shopping too?”
In most grocery stores, employee assistance is the only resource available to the visually impaired. Given the fact that her son refuses to let his visual impairment stop him from doing much of anything, Christie thought about Joshua’s question and decided to do something about it.
The Goldenbergs approached the management staff at their local Trader Joe’s to see if they were willing to let them place Braille labels on select items. Trader Joe’s approved the idea, so Joshua got busy printing labels on his Braille typewriter. This was a momentary success, even receiving some coverage on the local news, but Trader Joe’s would later remove the labels for undisclosed reasons.
The Goldenbergs tried the same approach with the Whole Foods in Thousand Oaks, which not only allowed the labels, but also helped the family raise awareness about the project, which eventually gained the attention of the National Braille Press (NBP) in Boston.
The NBP invited Joshua and his family out to Boston where they honored him with the “Hands On Award.” The NBP also teamed up with the Whole Foods in Newtonville to implement the same Braille labeling initiative. Three months later, Whole Foods Santa Barbara adopted the initiative, while other Whole Foods locations are currently preparing to add the Braille labeling system in their stores.
The Goldenbergs have now recruited the help of family and friends to form their own non-profit foundation, The Joshua Project. They hope to further empower the visually impaired by spreading Braille labeling as well audible scanners to grocery stores across the country.